The reproduction rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Quezon City has significantly eased, the city government reported on Thursday.
In a social media post, the QC government cited findings of the OCTA Research Group, which noted the decrease in new Covid-19 infections in the city based on the data released by the Department of Health (DOH) and the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU).
The group said the reproduction number or R0 (pronounced as R-naught) of the city is now at 1.23, slightly lower than last week’s 1.59.
The R0 indicates the severity of infection from the virus. An R0 of lower than 1 means that each confirmed Covid-19 case has a smaller chance of infecting others or cause new infections.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte attributed the decline in new cases to the city’s improved Covid-19 response.
“Our increased efforts on testing, contact tracing, and additional isolation facilities have greatly helped curb the increase in numbers. We will continue to improve our systems so that we can prevent surges,” Belmonte said.
She said the average number of tests conducted per day in its three local government hospitals and 11 community-based testing sites located in its six districts has also increased to 3,298.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 positivity rate in the city also went down to 21 percent from 26 percent.
Belmonte, however, said this is still higher compared to the standard positivity rate of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 5 percent.
The city government, in its latest report, said that the average number of cases for April 20 to 26 has dropped to 743 compared to 1,183 cases for the week of March 30 to April 5, which was considered as the peak of the recent surge in the number of cases.
“We are seeing great improvements in Quezon City. We are positive that if the mitigating efforts being done by the local government will be sustained for 2-3 more weeks, the numbers will continue to decrease based on our projections,” Dr. Guido David of OCTA Research said.
As of Thursday, the CESU reported that active cases have decreased to 7,126 or 8.8 percent, while recoveries are now at 73,200 or 90 percent.
The percentage of those who have succumbed to the disease is at 1.2 percent or 995.
Meanwhile, the city’s isolation and quarantine facilities have also improved and are now being increased to more than 3,000 beds as city-owned buildings and schools were transformed into isolation facilities complete with beds and other medical requirements.
Additional patient beds have also been set up at the Quezon City General Hospital, Novaliches District Hospital, and Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital.
Belmonte, meanwhile, encouraged residents to continue following minimum health and safety protocols being implemented such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, frequent hand washing, and the observance of safe physical distancing most especially in public places.